At one of our team meetings last year I talked about wanting to do a simple project that was rooted in the idea of paying attention to our lives. Most of my projects have that as a piece of the overall approach but I wanted to do something a little different that might encourage more people to try out documenting for themselves.
The result of that conversation is what you see here: The Art Of Noticing.
The concept is simple: open your eyes to things in your life that you might otherwise miss.
The format is simple: a travelers notebook with pre-printed pages that include a spot for a photo, drawing, etc and a lines to hold your words.
The invitation is simple: join me in opening our eyes even wider to the beauty and awesomeness that surrounds us.
Here are some different ways you may choose to use this notebook:
- As part of a community project. My plan is to do this a few times a year for a week at a time and post about it on my Instagram account using the prompt "today I noticed." I'll be doing my first week starting on March 16th. If you start using your notebook before then please use the hashtag #aeartofnoticing.
- Whenever the inspiration strikes. Store this in your bag as a reminder to take photos of things you notice that make your heart skip a beat (or just cool stuff that makes you happy).
- As a monthly adventure. Pick a month and notice things daily as you practice slowing down and paying attention.
- Choose to make it a book about someone and you tell the story of them right now via the lens of noticing.
- As a way to document a vacation or other travel.
I love that there are a variety of ways you can approach this as a home for your stories.
What should you put in that pre-designed box on the page?
- A photo. I'm cropping my photos for this to 3.25 inch x 3.25 inch. Maybe you'll take photos of people or patterns or flowers or cracks in the sidewalk. Consider this notebook your home for those kinds of images that you simply find beautiful for one reason or another.
- Draw a picture.
- Create a mixed media or painted square and add it in place.
- A daily quote or words of inspiration (and then write about why you loved them in the section below).
- Found pieces of paper or other ephemera (think packaging).
I can't wait to see how you guys end up using these notebooks. My hope is that it gives us all an opportunity to slow down and pay attention to the beauty of our lives.
If you'd like a deeper dive into the topic of "noticing," check out Rob Walker's book The Art Of Noticing: 131 Ways To Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy In The Everyday. I bought this book last summer after we'd been talking about this concept and I love all the ideas Rob includes for each of us to practice the art of paying attention. Maybe you'll use the notebook to document your take on his "noticing" prompts.